3 Count: Tale of Two Artists

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1: 72andSunny Cleared of Copyright Infringement Claims Over Starbucks Ad

First off today, Richard Whitman at MediaPost reports that advertising agency 72andSunny has won a dismissal in a case against artist Maya Hayuk, who claimed the agency infringed upon her work to create an advertising campaign for Starbucks Coffee.

Hayuk and 72andSunny originally had planned to work together on the campaign but the effort fell apart when Hayuk said she was too busy to create new work for the campaign. However, when she saw the finished product, featuring a series of colorful and stripe patterns, she felt it was a bit too close to some of her existing work.

However, the court ruled that Hayuk’s lawsuit was an attempt to claim copyright over non-copyrightable elements such as shapes, colors and style. As such, the court has dismissed the case before it reached a trial.

2: Katy Perry Dress Lawsuit Moves Forward

Next up today, Contact Music is reporting that street artist Joseph Tierney has bested a motion to dismiss in his case against fashion designer Jeremy Scott and Scott’s company Moschino, setting the case to go ahead to a potential trial.

Tierney sued Scott over a dress Scott designed for musician Katy Perry to be worn at the Met Gala. The black dress featured a graffiti pattern that Tierney said was an infringement of an original work he had created.

Scott and Moschino fought back both filing a motion to dismiss and attempting to have the lawsuit thrown out on first amendment grounds under California’s anti-SLAPP laws. Scott further claimed that he did not choose the print on the fabric and should not be held liable. However, the judge ruled in Tierney’s favor on every issue, ruling the lawsuit had a strong probability of success and that it was unlikely a fashion designer would take no control over such an important dress.

3: Twitter Sued For Blatant DMCA Takedown Violations

Finally today, Charlotte Hassan at Digital Music News reports that photographer Jennifer Reilly has filed a lawsuit against Twitter alleging that the social networking site does not adequately respond to copyright takedown notices.

According to the lawsuit, Reilly has sent notices of 56 infringing images on Twitter’s service. However, despite the complaints, Reilly claims that 50 of them are still online. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects hosts, such as Twitter, from liability for copyright infringement by users but only as long as they work to expeditiously remove infringements after notification.

The lawsuit is similar to one filed by another photographer last year. That one was settled out of court. Reilly, in the meantime, is suing for actual and statutory damages.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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